May 9 (UPI) — President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to encouraged increased military spouse hiring in federal government positions.
Trump signed the order during an event at the White House celebrating U.S. military spouses who number about 690,000. He spoke about the challenges military spouses face about whether to enter the workforce, how many hours to work and in what occupation — in addition to geographical and temporal constraints that come with active military life.
“Military spouses have already shown the utmost devotion to our nation and we want to show you our devotion in return,” he said. “America owes a debt of gratitude to our military spouses, we can never repay you for all that you do.”
Earlier Wednesday the White House released a six-page report detailing the challenges faced by military spouses, including being unable to obtain foreign work visas while stationed abroad.
Stateside assignments bring their own challenges as military families typically move every two to three years.
“Some of them are much longer than you ever bargained for, and you routinely move your families around the country and all over the world,” Trump said of military deployments.
Trump said the order will ensure military spouses receive greater access to federal jobs and will encourage businesses throughout the country to “expand opportunities for our incredible and talented military spouses,” by offering remote work and other solutions.
Addressing service members in attendance, the president touted the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which he signed in December to increase the military budget to $700 billion.
“We’re gonna be having the best equipment ever known and next year $716 billion,” Trump said.
He also touted the first pay raise for service members in 10 years by increasing pay 2.4 percent, although troops have seen a pay raise of at least 1 percent every year for more than three decades, the Navy Times reported.